Nairobi,KENYA:The government has raised taxes in the gambling sector.
In his budget speech, Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich imposed a 50 percent tax on lottery, gambling and gaming.
This is in a move to discourage gambling that has fixated a lot of Kenyans especially youths.
The tax has been increased from the current 7.5 percent to 50% and proceeds will be channeled to National Sports, Culture and Arts Fund to support development of sports in the country.
Meanwhile prices of flour and bread is expected to drop sharply following the waiver of duty on maize and flour.
Mr Rotich warned millers against defying the new directive to lower prices of the two commodities.
“Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers who sell such goods will be expected to reduce the prices of these basic commodities, failure to which, I will reverse the policy.” He said.
The government also set aside Sh 2 billion for hiring of teachers and 329 billion for counties.
On allocations, parliament will receive sh. 36 billion, Judiciary sh. 18 billion, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission too will receive additional of sh. 21.4 billion .
To curb corruption, the government will set aside sh. 4 billion to Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission while Director of public prosecution will receive sh. 2.3 billion. Counties will receive a total of sh. 329 billion.
Rotich indicated that salaries for public servants will be harmonized by July.
In the road sector ,sh. 134 billion will be set aside for road construction ,sh. 49.3 billion for road maintenance ,sh. 75 billion for standard gauge railway and Lamu port will receive sh. 10 billion.
In energy sector sh. 16.4 billion will be set aside for geothermal ,wind and solar power while sh. 9.7 billion will be used for connectivity .
In the irrigation sector sh. 0.6 billion will be used for Bura irrigation scheme while Galana Kulalu will also receive sh. 0.6.billion.
Rotich pointed that to boost tourism in the country, the government will set aside sh. 1 billion for tourism recovery and 1 billion for new markets .
Also in education sector Sh.4 billion will be set aside for exams,Sh.14 b for free primary school program,sh. 33 billion for free secondary, sh. 2 billion for teachers recruitment and sh.13.4 billion for digital devices.
On higher education sh. 83.8 billion will be used for university education while sh. 10 will be set aside for higher education board.
Consequently, sh. 18 billion will be set aside for youth empowerment and digital literacy.
Additional reporting by Christopher Nyamuta